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  1. #1
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    Fluid Guzzlers Beware - Hyponatremia

    A recent study has found that some athletes are putting themselves at risk of becoming hyponatremic (insufficient mineral salts to function) by drinking too much during long, hard exertion. It also found that it didn't matter what was consumed, the risk still remained. For more info goto http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/6/6_1/1179.shtml

  2. #2
    Meow! my58vw's Avatar
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    I learned this on my first century... of course not drinking enough liquids can have dire results also...
    Just your average club rider... :)

  3. #3
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    Yes, I should point out that some people might consider a knee-jerk reaction to a report like this.

    I have seen plenty of posts espousing the use of salt tablets. This can be very dangerous if the athlete is actually dehydrated as too much salt can lead to renal failure and other problems.

    The best plan is to avoid dehydration and hyponatremia through conditioning and sensible intake of fluids. There are plenty of good tips provided in the article on the coorunnings website.

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    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Oh good grief,
    this must be like sex, you know, everyone thinks they discovered it? Pretzels, if you look you can find ones with no fat.
    A lot of sports drinks have sodium, heck, I've added salt to lemonade
    at a convienence store. I also carry a bottle of potassium tablets
    in hot weather. Crisis over.

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    Quote Originally Posted by late
    this must be like sex, you know, everyone thinks they discovered it
    Except that someone died in the Boston Marathon last year, so it is evident that some people need to know that the problem exists. The study outcomes also stated that drinking sport drink won't necessarily help, you can still take in too much fluid. And, as I pointed out previously, it's not a good idea to shovel salts of any form down your throat after heavy exertion unless you like the idea of dialysis.

    Apart from that your arguments seem sound
    Last edited by rockmuncher; 04-13-05 at 09:01 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    "Training to avoid hyponatremia:

    * Drink small amounts of fluids to stay hydrated, but don't overdose on water.
    * Take in electrolytes through sports drinks which have sodium and potassium.
    * Ask the race director what fluids will be given on race day.
    * Try to eat snack foods with salt, like pretzels or chips."

    This is so simple. You sweat a bunch, you take a little break, drink something, maybe have a pretzel. Big whoop.

  7. #7
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Climbing Fool terrymorse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by late
    This is so simple. You sweat a bunch, you take a little break, drink something, maybe have a pretzel. Big whoop.
    Written by someone who hasn't had hyponatremia. It's all to easy to fall behind on electrolyte balance in a long, hot race. I've had it happen once, at last year's Climb to Kaiser. Never again. I spent an hour lying on the ground before I was able to get back on the bike. Hyponatremia makes you feel really sick.

    A ride buddy of mine ended up in the ER with IV fluids after a very hot training ride (Hamilton Challenge route, backwards). She was both dehydrated and hyponatremic.

    I now carry endurolytes on rides that last longer than about 5 hours.
    Managing Director, Undiscovered Country Tours

  9. #9
    Has opinion, will express
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockmuncher
    Except that someone died in the Boston Marathon last year, so it is evident that some people need to know that the problem exists. The study outcomes also stated that drinking sport drink won't necessarily help, you can still take in too much fluid. And, as I pointed out previously, it's not a good idea to shovel salts of any form down your throat after heavy exertion unless you like the idea of dialysis.

    Apart from that your arguments seem sound
    It's been known for ages. Some glam website publishes an article on it, and all of a sudden it's important news. It's been on the ultracycling pages for as long as I can remember.

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    Late, you are very irritating. As for what you sed, well I know that, you know that, almost everyone who reads this forum knows that. But some noob out there might need to adjust their thinking. Stop being so godamn righteous, it's not endearing you to anyone.

    If you wanna be helpful, try taking a leaf out of Machta's book. Excellent reference material as opposed to dribble.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan
    It's been known for ages. It's been on the ultracycling pages for as long as I can remember.

    ... and now there is a reference to it on bikeforums. noobs can even search for it.

    What's with you lamers?

  12. #12
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockmuncher
    ... and now there is a reference to it on bikeforums. noobs can even search for it.

    What's with you lamers?

    Well, you have to keep in mind that there is much more danger of dehydration than there is of hyponatremia, especially among the new riders. Hyponatremia isn't really much of a factor until exercisers (cyclists, runners, etc.) are into the advanced levels of their sport (marathons, ultracycling, etc.) and when we get to that level, we should know enough to make ourselves aware of the articles and information out there about those things (like the articles I posted).

    The average recreational cyclist or commuter isn't likely to encounter a problem with hyponatremia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockmuncher
    A recent study has found that some athletes are putting themselves at risk of becoming hyponatremic (insufficient mineral salts to function) by drinking too much during long, hard exertion. It also found that it didn't matter what was consumed, the risk still remained. For more info goto http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/6/6_1/1179.shtml
    A very poor article. The issue is a lack of electrolytes (Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium, Sodium) and not over hydration. Anyone who exercises more than an hour or two with out replacing electrolytes has managed to stay ignorant of how to hydrate. The information has been available since at least the mid 60's because that's when I became aware of it to support my jogging.

    The worst that can happen to you if you drink too much fluid containing the proper ratios of electrolytes is that sluggish feeling.

    Too bad so many folks like those marathoners don't read books before they do extreme sports. The WEB is a poor substitute for in-depth treatment of a subject.

    Al

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    Quote Originally Posted by Al.canoe
    The WEB is a poor substitute for in-depth treatment of a subject.
    Utter rubbish. All medical journals and studies are available on the WEB.

    Journalism and web forums are poor substitutes for in-depth treatment of a subject

    What you propbably should have stated is that the web is full of misinformation, untruths, fabrication and lies. Amongst all that lies the truth. The problem is working out what to believe.

  15. #15
    Senior Member kf5nd's Avatar
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    Not true, Canada!

    In very hot and humid climates like ours (can be 90% humidity and 40 degrees C or 104 degrees F here in summer), you sweat like a pig made just standing there in the shade doing nothing.

    You lose water and electrolytes at an incredible rate. If you take plain water as your fluid, or if your fluid and food have insufficient electrolytes, you can definitely fall into hyponatremia.

    In fact, weekend warriors are more at risk than elite athletes; they are slower, so they are out on a Century course far longer than the elites, get pounded on by the sun and humidity.

    I am the average recreation / commuter cyclist, and I had it once, not seriously, but I had it. Pounding headaches, gained 4 kilos of weight (purely water), hands feet face swelled up like a balloon. Look in the Internet, caught a clue, ate some salt, and spent the entire night peeing out 4 kilos of water.




    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    Well, you have to keep in mind that there is much more danger of dehydration than there is of hyponatremia, especially among the new riders. Hyponatremia isn't really much of a factor until exercisers (cyclists, runners, etc.) are into the advanced levels of their sport (marathons, ultracycling, etc.) and when we get to that level, we should know enough to make ourselves aware of the articles and information out there about those things (like the articles I posted).

    The average recreational cyclist or commuter isn't likely to encounter a problem with hyponatremia.
    Peter Wang, LCI
    Houston, TX USA

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockmuncher
    Utter rubbish. All medical journals and studies are available on the WEB.

    Journalism and web forums are poor substitutes for in-depth treatment of a subject

    What you propbably should have stated is that the web is full of misinformation, untruths, fabrication and lies. Amongst all that lies the truth. The problem is working out what to believe.
    Sorry, but most in-depth medical articles require a fee to download. You have to pay before you know the content. I know that for a fact haveing extensively researched my cancer and Chloresterol issues on the WEB. That said, there are some good medical articles on the WEB, unfortunately, the lack of context of these "snippits" can case one to do useless or counterproductive things. In my case, I've got a great doctor who'll actually read the articles and give me the context info.

    It takes context and an indepth understanding of the issues to filter out the junk on the WEB. The best way to do that in the least time is to read a few books by folks in the field. Not all books are good of course, a good example of useless books are the diet books.

    If you haven't read any good books on cycling recently, here's my suggested reading list of some top-notch ones:

    Bicycle Science, third edition, by David Gordon Wilson and the two recent books by Chris Carmichael (the Ultimate ride, Food for Fitness).

    Al

  17. #17
    Proshpero jnbacon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    Well, you have to keep in mind that there is much more danger of dehydration than there is of hyponatremia, especially among the new riders. Hyponatremia isn't really much of a factor until exercisers (cyclists, runners, etc.) are into the advanced levels of their sport (marathons, ultracycling, etc.) and when we get to that level, we should know enough to make ourselves aware of the articles and information out there about those things (like the articles I posted).

    The average recreational cyclist or commuter isn't likely to encounter a problem with hyponatremia.
    A quote from the NY Times article on this topic:

    " 'Everyone becomes dehydrated when they race,' Dr. Noakes said. 'But I have not found one death
    in an athlete from dehydration in a competitive race in the whole history of running. Not one. Not
    even a case of illness.'

    On the other hand, he said, he knows of people who have sickened and died from drinking too much."

    The problem seems to have appeared in recent years precisely because so many non-elite, i.e. average, competitors are entering these events.

  18. #18
    Proshpero jnbacon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al.canoe
    A very poor article. The issue is a lack of electrolytes (Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium, Sodium) and not over hydration. <snip>
    Try
    this NY Times article or the study itself.

    The study gives "fluid consumption" as a cause of hyponatremia, and specifically ruled out the "composition of fluids ingested" as being associated with the condition.

  19. #19
    Name's Ash ...housewares Doctor Morbius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockmuncher
    Late, you are very irritating. As for what you sed, well I know that, you know that, almost everyone who reads this forum knows that. But some noob out there might need to adjust their thinking. Stop being so godamn righteous, it's not endearing you to anyone.

    If you wanna be helpful, try taking a leaf out of Machta's book. Excellent reference material as opposed to dribble.
    ... and now there is a reference to it on bikeforums. noobs can even search for it.

    What's with you lamers?
    Sounds like you're pretty godamned righteous to me as well as full of yourself.
    I did not achieve this position in life by having some snot-nosed punk leave my cheese out in the wind. - Ed Rooney


    It's not that I'm lazy. I'm just highly motivated to RELAX!!

  20. #20
    Dart Board velocity's Avatar
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    I think salt stains on spandex is sexy! am I in need of a shrink yet??
    Velocity

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnbacon
    A quote from the NY Times article on this topic:

    " 'Everyone becomes dehydrated when they race,' Dr. Noakes said. 'But I have not found one death
    in an athlete from dehydration in a competitive race in the whole history of running. Not one. Not
    even a case of illness.'

    On the other hand, he said, he knows of people who have sickened and died from drinking too much."

    The problem seems to have appeared in recent years precisely because so many non-elite, i.e. average, competitors are entering these events.
    This doctor is either very young and doesn't read much or he hasn't been paying attention I think. I never heard of anyone dieing of too much water until 5 years ago. Then and now it's extremely rare. Before that, for about 5 decades you would always hear/read about folks who died for heat prostration (if that's the correct term), sun stroke and other heat related afflictions. As a youg 5 or 6 yr old I saw a tennis player die. No one used to speak in terms of hydration, they spoke/wrote in terms of over heating.

    Why is that? Because when you become dehydrated, you overheat because your blood thickens, the circulation slows (therefore it can't absorb heat from critical body parts) and the heat removal process (sweating) is impaired and eventually goes to zero. If i remember correctly, a test for heat stress was a hot, DRY skin.

    Then the athlete folks learned why that happened. Hydration has been the issue discussed written about ever since. Heat related deaths are now very rare because of the public dialog on hydration.

    Now that folks discovered hydration, they started to drink. Unfortunately, rather than become well informed about hydration and electrolytes, many relied on these poorly researched/written news articles and started drinking plain water to excess. There are folks out there who will jump on the latest information and figure if a little is good, then a lot is much be better. There are also the faddist folks who are never without a water bottle.

    I read the amount of water that woman who drank herself to death had imbibed before she even started the race. I forgot the amount since it was some time ago. But it was surprising that should could actually start to run with that much water.

    Al

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